About Quantum computers
- In 1950s quantity of information for the first time were expressed in terms of the number of “bits”.
- The bits, the 0s and 1s of binary code, are the basis of all conventional computing to store information.
- 0s and 1s are represented in the form of electric charges.
- In ordinary computers, charge is stored, and it flows through switches.
- Every computation consists of changing the stored charge by regulating the flow of electric current to represent different information.
- But in a quantum computer, the idea is fundamentally different.
- All manipulations are done with the electron wave rather than with the current (charge).
- Quantum computers take advantage of the fact that the particles (such as electrons) can be in different orbits simultaneously.
- As a result, a very large number of computations can be carried out simultaneously using very simple circuits, and much less energy.
- Each electron can, in principle, carry many bits of information called quantum bits, or qubits for short.
- Quantum computers promise to run calculations far beyond the reach of any conventional supercomputer.
- They might revolutionize the discovery of new materials by making it possible to simulate the behavior of matter down to the atomic level.
- They could upend cryptography and security by cracking otherwise invincible codes.
- There is even hope they will supercharge artificial intelligence by crunching through data more efficiently.
India and quantum computers
- In September 2017, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) announced its plan to fund a project to develop quantum computers.
- The DST’s Mission-Mode scheme, called Quantum Science and Technology (QuST), will fund research for the development and demonstration of quantum computers, quantum communication and cryptography, besides demonstration of quantum teleportation.
- Further ISRO, in collaboration with Raman Research Institute, has initiated a mega project called Quantum Experiments Using Satellite Technology (QUEST) for developing technologies in quantum computing.
- In May 2017, Chinese scientists successfully built the world’s first quantum computing machine that is 24,000 times faster than its international counterparts.
- Earlier in 2016 China had successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite called Micius.
- Using Micius, Chinese researchers at the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) project, were able to transmit secret messages from space to Earth at a further distance than ever before.
Section : Science & Tech